Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper
shanlung
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Many many more photos in flickr folder "Getting Dommie into the sea "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622291136657/


Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper

The last weekend also saw us lazing at home again partly because of Ramadan restrictions on not drinking and eating or smoking in public during daylight hours and because we also loved lazing at home.

But do not get me wrong. Ramadan is a very good time in Oman. During that month, we worked only half day. And after that Ramadan period, there is a one week holiday to celebrate EID which started yesterday, 19 Sep 09 Saturday .

This holiday came as a surprise to me as I forgotten last year. I then nearly decided to fly to Egypt and then Jordan for the week. But all flights booked up a month ago. Then Goa in India in the last minute, and in the minute past that last minute, decided against as my wife refused to join me.

So sometime this week, three of us will be off to Turtle Resort for 2 nights because they have a room there at this last minute.

Because of restrictions against eating and drinking, people do not play football. That meant the crowds who played soccer on the beaches, or throng the beaches were no longer there. The beach was almost empty of people.

So many evenings saw us all taking the kitties to the beach nearby near evening time.

Dommie was wary at first as the last time we took him to the beach was a few months ago. Then he gained his confidence and ventured beyond the grassed dunes down to the sand. We took Katie with us the last 3 times. She had to be taken from villa to the car in cat carrier. I was delighted the last time when I opened the car door, called Dommie , and Dom jumped into the car.

The first time in this series for Katie, she refused to budge from under the car while the rest of us went to the beach. Then on her third time yesterday on 19 Sept, Katie left the vicinity of the car to follow us to the sand before changing her mind running back to the car.

Dommie had gotten nearer and nearer to the water. Yesterday, the tide was out leaving shallow stretches of water. Dom came at my call down and into the tide pools.

Many many more photos in flickr folder "Getting Dommie into the sea "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622291136657/



P1070466
persuading Dom waves are ok


P1070967

persuading Dom tide pools are ok


P1070976

Dommie persuaded that tide pools are ok and fun

P1070978




Maybe in time Dom will be swimming with me in the sea and next I need to design scuba gear for him as well.



Of course, Riam did flights there.

P1070666
Into stiff head winds


P1070919
not so stiff cross winds


I was doing recalls in cross winds , tail winds and head winds. We noticed one very interesting aspect when she was challenged in cross winds. Riam would do a 360 stepping rotate on the perch hold by my wife as if to guage the winds. Then she would take off and fly to me. My wife managed to capture one such sequence of stepping rotation from Riam prior to takeoff.

You can see this sequence here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622291136657/detail/?page=2
starting with photo P1070486 to P1070502, and then she took off.





In one outing, the wind was stiff, at least force 7 in a140 degree cross wind cum tail wind. That was too much for Riam to handle who was brought sweeping out and over me. I braked the line and Riam turned , looped and landed on the dune behind me. She then was in a head wind condition and powered her way to me.

The sequence start here http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622291136657/detail/?page=6

from photo P1070700 to P1070765 covering all above

Many many more photos in flickr folder "Getting Dommie into the sea "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622291136657/


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Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament



This talk on chess came from my thead in http://www.anafricangrey.ca/forum/index.php?showforum=6

With comments on Riam , swings and stuff, Pico and Lambert talked on my chess wondering if that was why we all love greys. I was about to answer in that forum but changed my mind to place into this blog for all to follow.

I am good in chess, a senior club player , Elo at best was just about 2000, who used to take part in chess tournaments but stopped about 30 years ago. I mentioned that before, but never mentioned why I stopped.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system

I have a son, Mark Chan, with my first wife who passed away. I thought he was retarded when at 3 years old, he would not talk. His first words came at 3 years 3 months.

I used to play chess in a chess club. Arcade games were there and Mark love to play that. But he knew he could not get more coins until I finished my chess game. So he watched until I finished before getting his coins. One day , when he was 3 ½ years old, he was waiting for that game to be finished. I was getting clobbered and about to make a move when he told me excitedly to make a different move. His suggestion appeared so stupid to me that I chewed him up, and told him no talking when I play. He stood his ground and with nothing to lose, I moved that move. My opponent replied as I thought he would making my position worse. Mark took over from there, and in 3 moves, to the shock of all of us, the game totally reversed. He went on and later threshed me while watching and laughing at his cartoons on TV and playing me sight unseen of the board in front of me.

Mark in time took part in national chess tournaments when he was still in kindergarten and unable to write his name. Mark was first known as my son. Very shortly after he started, I become better known as Mark’s father. Organisers did not want us to talk in the tournarment , as they knew I solicited advice from him instead of me advising him.

We were normally both invited to take part in chess tournaments. It was getting more difficult for me to play. In the course of the tournaments, I would be paired with my son. Lot of people love to watch him play. When we got to play together, enormous crowd gathered to watch and gloat my inevitable slaughter at his hands. The hours , days and years and hundreds of books I read on chess were swept aside by him.

I never took part in chess tournament since then, content to be his driver to tournaments. I could not even bear to watch him play. He played dangerously as you must at the top, and his combination beyond my comprehension adding to my fear and blood pressure. I probably will not directly watch him play in Budapest either. The tension will be too much for me.

[edited on 20 Oct 09 to include comments that photos of Mark playing chess is seen in http://shanlung.livejournal.com/104845.html ]

Then one day, when he was about 8 years old, he was invited and I was not. I was mollified, and shocked , that the allegro (30mins each per game) tournament was international for South East Asia and for Masters only. My son was so upset that he came in 11th in a field of 60 with the top 10 going to next tournament and he counted coup on NMs and IMs. That was in mid 80. His games were beyond my comprehension. I eavesdrop on his post game analysis with his Masters’ opponents and they were beyond my comprehension even when he was 8 years old. Very mortifying to me as I considered myself to be a strong player, and gratifying too, as he was unique, and my son as well.


IMG

IMG_0002


He entered the world under 10 and came in 9 position. The country we were in did not give any support and I paid for his trips that he went overseas all by himself at his young age. All other competitors were backed with IM/GM trainers specializing in openings, middle games and end games catering to their needs. He had me, and my 20 odd chess books.

Money was tight with me at that point and I cannot afford to send him to all.

Mark games in those chess Olympiad he went to were listed and annotated.
Later on, those people that he defeated went on to be International Masters and Grand Masters. To get IM, you need to take part in tournaments of that level. I had not the money then to keep paying for him to fly to take part. Where my son would be now if given the support and backing given by all other countries to gifted players I always wondered.

A messy divorce also intervened.

I met my wife Joy long after that was over.

His studies then took priority. He shelved chess and he graduated. After a few years of work, he decided he want to try to get back into chess and try for his IM now. His Elo is 2286. I am happy that he want to get back into the chess world.

This Dec 2009, he will be flying to Budapest to take part in the 1st Saturday IM Tournament there starting 5 Dec 09 until 17 Dec 09.
http://firstsaturday.hu/

I will be flying to Budapest on 13 Dec 09 to be with my son and to enjoy the city . I spend so much time with Tinkerbell and it is time I spend time with my son too. So if any of my readers are in Hungary , Budapest, and have the time to meet me, please write to me. Then we will fly off on 19 Dec to Amsterdam . We will be at Max Euwe plaze with those words ‘ HOMO SAPIEN NON URINAT IN VENTUM’ over us.

Those who snatched victory from their jaws of defeat from me will never know what hit them from 19 to 23 Dec. My son will do what I cannot do, hung, drawn and quarter all of them. But I think they all will love it. So Pico and Lambert and any chess lovers here, if you have the time, come over and I will see you at Max Euwe during that time in between sipping coffee in coffee shops.

It was on yesterday 19 Sept morning that I went to the travel agent to pay for that trip.
Why not? In this end game of life with the greed going on, and the tipping point already past ( http://shanlung.livejournal.com/101464.html ) , we all should max our happiness and min agro to yourself and anyone else now (unless over a chess board).


(report of my son and myself in Budapest in that IM Tournament http://shanlung.livejournal.com/108450.html)
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more photos in flickr folder "Tinkerbell Harness for Piper "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622423395606/detail/
ALL THE PHOTOS IN FLICKR FOLDER MUST BE SEEN. THERE ARE A LOT MORE INFORMATION IN COMMENTS ON THOSE PHOTOS



Tinkerbell Harness for Piper

Raz Rasmussen is a good friend. She has a beautiful grey called Carly that she flew freely. Her incredible and informative blog that I strongly urge you all to go is here

http://carlylusflightblog.com/about/

Raz nicely credited her journey with Carly started with Tinkerbell and me.

Before you even think of following her route, go and read the training that she been through. Raz also felt she is lucky that Carly was a very rare CAG that did not seem to do spook flights

Raz also has Piper, a male CAG. She told me Piper spooked even at home at drop of a paper clip. I know Tinkerbell and Riamfada spooks. I thought because they were females. I thought male CAGs should be different. So Raz describing her Piper as nervous and liable to spook was a surprise.

Raz felt Piper could not be trained and taken out the way she did with Carly.

I was thinking my last harness writeup was Tinkerbell - Harness for Dennis http://shanlung.com/wtinkharnessdennis.htm written in Sep 19 2004.

I offer to Raz that I make and send Piper harness and record it in the same way asking her for her choice of color.

She accepted and wanted red. So I went on to make a red harness for her . I decided to add a rainbow harness. I think a color for head loop a different color for the body loop will make it easier to wear, and to take off. Perhaps her eyesight is better than mine and then she can use the same color as she pleased.

Using harness is not easy and not to be undertaken lightly.

Please read at the very minimum the following ‘Cargo Cult’ in

‘That rescued IRN// If you think your summer is hot // Cargo Cult// I saw Riam flying backwards’
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/100244.html

And ‘Using Harness’
http://shanlung.com/wUsingHarness.html



together with all their URLs embedded in them.

IT WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS IF YOU FAIL TO DO THAT.
IT IS LIFE AND DEATH, SO PLEASE READ ALL ABOVE.
IT IS NOT JUST HARNESS USING, BUT A TOTALLY NEW MINDSET THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR HIS/HER SAFETY AND YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT


YOU CAN INJURE OR KILL YOUR PARROT IF YOU USE HARNESS WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING .

YOU CAN INJURE OR KILL YOURSELF IF YOU DO ROCK CLIMBING WITHOUT THE TRAINING AND UNDERSTANDING.

YOU CAN INJURE OR KILL YOURSELF CROSSING ROADS IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO CROSS ROADS with understanding

YOU CAN INJURE OR KILL YOURSELF LIVING LIFE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING

Find out all you can and most important of all , T H I N K.

NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND. THE LEASE MUST ALWAYS BE CARABINERED TO BELT OR BACKPACK.


Other suggested reading will be

Guarding against raptors -Dangers of Flying outside on a Harness? Risk?
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/68409.html

Playing music to ducks
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/19127.html


Spooking zones
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/9605.html



Tinkerbell wearing harness – photo by photo
http://shanlung.com/w7tinkwearharness.htm

Tinkerbell - Harness for Dennis
http://shanlung.com/wtinkharnessdennis.htm

And of course, the basis how Tinkerbell harness was first conceived and the main principle
‘New harness -& developement of concept while travelling in Taiwan mountains’
http://shanlung.com/harness1.html

Read also of my account of Riamfada how I got her to accept the harness, starting here
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2008/12/

It took me 5 days. It does not matter if you need 4 weeks. They live for 70 years, and against that context, even 2 months is not material.

The harness is good enough that Riamfada stuck her head in when offered the harness and assisted in the wearing as seen in this video.

Here is a video of me harnessing Riamfada to take her out on neighbourhood walk or outside. You will be able to see how she bend her head readily and willingly into the head loop and how she cooperated in lifting her wings for the harness being fastened.





The harness design that I started in 2002 and given freely to all around the world asking only for a donation to Durell Wildlife Trust or other Wildlife Trust of your choice.

I again request that of you who are going to make Tinkerbell harness. Be generous to our wildlife that share our planet. They need us more than ever.

Tinkerbell harness was last refined in June 2005 and recorded into my blog here
‘Tinkerbell revisited - meeting with Tsaoling bird whisperer and quirks of harness design’
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/11424.html

2 photos of Tinkerbell in her harness below taken from blog above

P7130371

P7080149


That had been hijacked and copied into a commercial harness that claimed 8 or 9 patents around Sept 2005 that claimed that their harness is the ‘lightest harness for flighted parrot’ and charging 50 US$. They then had the chutzpah to ‘offer’ me one of their harness .

I want to puke.

But don’t we know people do rob from church poor boxes. What about robbing from the voiceless creatures that I wished some $$ can go to help. But they rather the $$$ go into their bank that they can go laughing to.

Tinkerbell harness weigh in at 3 grams. Try to beat that.

This harness is made to fit your bird. I cannot believe in the commercial harness where ‘one size fits all’, and buckles bells and whistles used to ‘’adjust’’ harness to fit.

Raz wrote to me that Piper was 500 grams. My first and last weighing of Riamfada on 29 Nov 08 was 463 grams http://shanlung.livejournal.com/85946.html

I weighed Riamfada again yesterday a few hours after her afternoon feed and found her to be 460 grams.

Note how little the weight has changed. So if your parrot remain the same size, do it make sense that you need steel buckles to ‘adjust’ harness to fit? Steel that pressed onto them?

I used Riamfada harness as the basis for Piper.

I got Raz email on Saturday morning and I started in the afternoon after a morning procrastination and getting tickets for Budapest. I take a few minutes to make the harnesses. Taking photos took a lot longer. Especially when my camera ran out of power. I had to fix that by screaming to my wife. She opened the camera, removed the battery back to recharge it. I told her to hurry as I wanted to finish the harness to send off by end of the day to Raz. She laughed and reminded me of that week public holiday. She told me all government offices would be closed, and that included all the post offices. So Raz, it was not just procrastination that delayed your getting your two harnesses and line.


The harness consist of 2 main parts, the harness and the line



more photos in flickr folder "Tinkerbell Harness for Piper "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622423395606/detail/
ALL THE PHOTOS IN FLICKR FOLDER MUST BE SEEN. THERE ARE A LOT MORE INFORMATION IN COMMENTS ON THOSE PHOTOS


The harness itself consist of

A The head loop together with the body line and swivel joint.
B The body strap which go into the small loop at back of body loop, under the wings and fasten into the loop below the breast in front.

(added on 16 April 2010 because of email exchanges with Toria of http://www.african-grey-parrots.co.uk)
The harness is made from shoelace or phone lanyard. Pick those made of double-weave material. That is what I am using for Tinkerbell and Riamfada now.

IMG_1049

The red lanyard was just barely enough for the head loop and body strap. I have more rainbow, so rainbow slightly longer.

Red and rainbow head loops measured with Riamfada harness above and blue bodystrap below

IMG_1050

Red and rainbow bodystrap measured for size against blue body strap



IMG_1052

The small loop at top of head loop marked off and whipped with a series of clove hitches.

IMG_1055

The 2 ends of the head loop tied tightly with series of clove hitches on both together and on each side to prevent escape artists like Tink or Riam or Piper. A good swivel join at the end. Only the red harness has the swivel joint. I have only 3 of them left and I need two for spares. Raz should be able to get swivel joint for the rainbow harness in California. I cannot get them here in Oman.

IMG_1057

Red and rainbow head loop. Space for head formed with line loosely tied. Final adjustment to be made by Raz on Piper.


IMG_1060


One side of red body strap tied firm, other side to be adjusted by Raz to fit Piper



more photos in flickr folder "Tinkerbell Harness for Piper "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157622423395606/detail/
ALL THE PHOTOS IN FLICKR FOLDER MUST BE SEEN. THERE ARE A LOT MORE INFORMATION IN COMMENTS ON THOSE PHOTOS

In above set you will see how the harness is worn. Important details as how to fasten the Hawaiian snap clip to the swivel joint, taught to me by my escape artist Tinkerbell


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{editted on 3 Aug 2010 to add the following changes to Tinkerbell Ultra-Lite Harness)

I decided to attach a cat/dog thingy containing my phone in case of accidents in free flight. A finder will see that immediately and can call me. I figure people might not look for a vet, or take a few days to see if microchip is in bird. By that time, that finder might be attached to bird and even less likely to want to return the bird.

See how this came about in
'Reflections on Riamfada at edge of the Empty Quarter and some rants '
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/112576.html

P1190898




NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND. THE LEASE MUST ALWAYS BE CARABINERED TO BELT OR BACKPACK.

NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND. THE LEASE MUST ALWAYS BE CARABINERED TO BELT OR BACKPACK.

NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND. THE LEASE MUST ALWAYS BE CARABINERED TO BELT OR BACKPACK.



(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/129976.html

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If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/


or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice






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Wow ShanLung, that was fast!

I will post a blog with more info on my situation with Piper. I am training him with the same general methods as I did with Carly, but having to add many more steps to the outdoor acclimation part before freeflying. He spooks very easily and often outdoors, which means that the biggest reinforcer, normally, for wearing a harness is not there. Going outside isn't a reinforcer but instead needs to be trained also. Carly is an extremely calm bird outdoors, so spook flights were never an issue. Having seen several losses and near-losses of free flighted Greys after spooking, it's a very high priority of mine to ensure Piper is confident and secure outside before flying with Carly.

I already use a hand made custom design, but it is still more bulky than the Tink harness. Piper puts it on well but doesn't like to keep it on long. I'm hoping ShanLung's UltraLite harness will be more comfortable and make the acclimation process easier.

Thanks ShanLung!


More in blog post, Piper's Outdoor Acclimation:
http://carlylusflightblog.com/2009/09/pipers-outdoor-acclimation/

And thanks again ShanLung! Piper will fit right in to the So Calif surf scene with his cool tye-dye rainbow harness.

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